Chocolate Caramel Treasures Recipe

P1050465.jpgSometimes you just need a good cookie to perk up your week. Try these awesome ones I modified from the Cookie Party Cookbook. So worth the melting of the caramel.
Chocolate Caramel Treasures:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup finely chopped hazelnuts ( we didn’t use nuts)
for Caramel Filling
10 plain caramels, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy cream
for Chocolate Drizzle
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened) finely chopped
1. Beat together butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer until blended well OR just mix with your hands like my daughter did. Sift in flour, cocoa, and salt and beat on low speed until mixture forms a dough-or mix with your hands. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350 F.
3. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, then roll in nuts to coat if you are using them. Arrange balls, as coated, 1 1/2 inches apart on greased baking sheets and press your thumb into center of balls to flatten, leaving a depression. Bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed slightly but centers are soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately press centers of cookies again (we used handle end of a wooden spoon). Transfer to racks to cool.
Make filling while cookies cool
Heat caramels and cream in a small saucepan over moderately low heat OR in a microwave like we did, stirring occasionally, until melted and mixture is smooth. Spoon into centers of cookies and cool completely.
Make chocolate drizzle one hour before serving
Melt chocolate in a double boiler or a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, OR melt in a microwave, stirring until smooth. Cool to warm and pour into a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. Seal bag and snip 1 corner to form a small hole. Drizzle chocolate over the cookies and let stand until set, about 30.
For more great recipes from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.